What is it about breaking bread that is so satisfying? To pass a loaf of crispy ciabatta round the table so each person can break a piece to sop up the juices on their plate has a deep symbolism way beyond the action. Sharing, communion, passing the peace pipe. I don't really know.
The bread in NZ is awful. I can't imagine passing a loaf of the doughy, white, processed rubbish around. Even on my last visit to France I noticed a lot of bakers have gone away from traditional methods and started using quick rise agents to the detriment of the delicious baguette.
From my hippy days with an old broken woodstove I have always made bread. I love the act of doing it, the smell of it cooking and the sharing of it. Staff of life comes to mind.
It is not easy to make. Experience tells you when the dough feels right and even if you have a good recipe it doesn't mean it will turn out OK.
I'll post a bit of experience tomorrow!